Outdoor Journal

Cast of thousands: Every Wednesday through Sept. 5 -— weather permitting -— Diamond Brand Outdoors will offer fly-casting lessons at Fletcher Park, beginning at 6 p.m. and lasting an hour. Each program is limited to six participants, so call soon to reserve a spot. To register, call the Diamond Brand Outdoors Fly Shop at 684-6262.

No guts, no glory: The Holler Mountain Board Park in Fletcher will hold a benefit competition on Saturday, July 14. Billed the “Ride for One Mountain Board Event,” the competition will include a downhill-racing segment as well as freestyle jumping. Funds raised will help offset college-education costs for Zhanna, a 17-year old Russian orphan. Call park owner Justin Rhodes at 650-9726 or visit www.mountainboardshop.com to learn more. The entry fee is $35, with free admission for mere spectators.

A knobby-tired apocalypse?: The U.S. Forest Service is violating multiple federal and state laws — and its own regulations — by failing to prevent mud from off-road-vehicle trails from polluting streams in the Tellico River watershed, says a coalition of conservation groups.

Last week, the North Carolina and Tennessee chapters of Trout Unlimited, the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, the Southern Environmental Law Center and others threatened to sue the service for lax oversight of its public lands, claiming that unchecked off-roading in the upper Tellico is devastating “one of the last, best strongholds for native brook trout.”

The Tellico Off-Road Vehicle area is located within the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests and is one of the largest of its kind in the Southeast. Visit www.southernenvironment.com, learn more about the issue (from the conservationists’ perspective, that is).

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